the pumpkin pie is baking and i forget for a moment about reality. it smells good, pure, wholesome. the pumpkin we grew together this summer out on the boulevard. the pumpkins that made people stop, look. we took such delight in watching them out our picture-perfect window. we giggled as they stood to contemplate the orange orbs. had they never seen a pumpkin before? then usually their dog took a big crap or dug up some of my plants. damn dogs. anyway, where was i? oh yes, the pie.

it smells amazing. what if you knew you would not live to eat another pumpkin pie from scratch? i know that her time isn't long. she has the breathing of a fish out of water as her lungs fill with fluid. she won't last through the night. thanksgiving without your mother. how will that feel? i guess a lot like it feels now.

this will be the 4th to die in one week. sometimes i can't stand it. sometimes i curse cancer and go out to the prairie and scream. sometimes it's just too much. the 84 year old saving her tears in a film canister. her husband of 63 years. gone. the tears of a 7 year old hit the quilt on her parents (scratch that, father's) bed. her tiny tears make the sound of a thousand fire hydrants exploding.

i wonder if i need to be saved. where will i go when i die? last week i listened to the story of his salvation. "she saved me" he said. "she showed me how to love Jesus." his wife, less than 90 pounds lay beside him in the double bed they have shared for 57 years. the morning sun comes through the lace curtains. the wallpaper peeling. the smell of the dog. damn dog. it tries to lick my hands. i wish i could push it away, but i am trying to be polite. he sobs over her withering body. they kiss and cry in eachothers arms. i feel like i should look away. but i am hoping they can save me.

but they can't. it's up to me. it's always only been up to me. i guess i still don't know what the hell i'm doing. each day i am getting a little closer to figuring it out. i just hope i die with poetry in my head and love in my heart. and perhaps some good pie in my belly......